We did a LOT of research before we purchased the motorcycles we have. Our ideas and plans changed 1,000 times. Neither of us had our motorcycle endorsements yet and so test-driving was not an option, but we certainly sat on a lot of bikes. We talked to a lot of different salesmen at a lot of different stores.
I needed a bike that was low to the ground and lightweight. Chris wanted a Harley, but had heard somewhere that a Sportster was a girl bike, so Harleys were a bit out of our price range. The first bike he wanted was an HD Rocker. He likes the chopper look. Then, he found a website that sold kits to turn almost any bike into a chopper. http://www.chopper-kit-usa.com/ He spent weeks looking at those websites and pictures and talking about all the things he wanted to do.
Meanwhile, because my bike would no doubt be less expensive, we started really looking (figuring Chris could also ride it a bit to gain experience before settling on what bike he wanted). My first choice was a Honda Rebel 250. It is so lightweight, that I can kind of manhandle it if something goes awry on the road. It is so low to the ground, that I can touch both feet flat on the floor. The motor is small enough that I won’t be scared by its power and yet strong enough to keep up with bigger cruisers. Plus, they are very inexpensive.
We went to San Diego House of Motorcycles to check one out. http://www.houseofmotorcycles.com/ Convinced that I would quickly grow out of the Rebel, the salesman convinced me to sit on a Suzuki Savage, and I liked it. Chris and I went home to research our options in the 600cc range.
I very much love the look of the Yamaha VStar Classic. It looks a lot like my mom’s bike (well, it’s at least white with big fenders). The next time we went to San Diego House of Motorcycles, I sat on one…I think it’s beautiful, but it felt too big for me. At that time, I hadn’t ridden a motorcycle in over a decade, and most of my memories were of NOT enjoying the actual driving of the motorcycle – it’s scary, it’s complicated, it’s dangerous…I much preferred being a passenger.
The next bike I sat on was the Honda Shadow Aero. It was PERFECT (except for that particular bike’s paint scheme). It was not too big; it was super easy for me to maneuver. I loved it! I wanted it! We drove to a different bike shop that had an Aero for a little less – I hated it. I do not know if the handlebars were different or my mindset was different or what, but I hated the exact same bike at a different store. I cannot even remember the store’s name because I hated that Aero so much!
Chris, on the other hand, was falling in love with Yamaha’s Raider (rival to the HD rocker) at that store. I tore Chris away from the Raider and made him take me back to SDHM. I needed to know if my mind was playing tricks – did I want the Aero or not?! When we got to the store, I made a beeline for “my” Aero, and suddenly I was NOT sold on it. It felt big, awkward, I knew I was just nervous, but I did not want to buy a bike that made me nervous.
While I was hemming and hawing over the Aero, Chris found a totally custom GORGEOUS Raider. He LOVED it. I loved it. Unfortunately, used non-Harleys were more difficult for us to get financed. Ray Bilbrey, our most awesome salesman, presented Chris with two options:
1. A new glossy black (non-custom) Raider
2. A 2008 matte black Harley Dyna Street Bob
For Chris, the choice was almost instantaneous. He felt like it was destiny that there was a matte black Harley at this metric bike shop.
So, March 7, 2009, we bought a 2009 Honda Rebel and a 2008 Harley FXDB (Street Bob). We still did not have our endorsements, so the bikes were delivered the next day. It was such an awesome moment at the Broussard house when the delivery truck pulled up with our bikes on the back!
We spent the afternoon sitting on them (while Channing took photos).
The only time I’ll ever sit behind Chris (he has since removed the passenger seat from his bike).
Isn’t my bike the cutest?!!
Both of us are very happy with our final choices.